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© President and Fellows of Harvard College
Call No.: MC 628; T-199
Repository: Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
Creator: Association of American Law Schools. Section on Women in Legal Education.
Title: Records of the Association of American Law Schools Section on Women in Legal Education, 1970-1999
Quantity: 2 linear feet (5 file boxes) plus 33 audiotapes)
Language of materials: Materials in English.
Abstract: Records of the Association of American Law Schools, Section on Women in Legal Education, including correspondence, reports and resolutions, program planning material, membership lists, questionnaires and statistics, newsletters, audiotapes, and reference material.
Donor: The Association of American Law Schools, Section on Women in Legal EducationAccession numbers: 86-M67, 86-M71, 87-M28, 87-M36, 87-M79, 87-M116, 87-M138, 87-M207, 88-M73, 88-M91, 88-M128, 89-M33, 90-M32, 91-M141, 91-M224, 99-M85Processed by: Bridgette A. WoodallThe following items have been transferred to the Schlesinger Library periodicals collection; consult the library's catalog for holdings:
- Section on Women in Legal Education newslettersThe following items have been transferred to the Women's history curricula and syllabi collection (Pr-13):
- Three-volume set of material by Nancy Erickson on Women's Legal HistoryThe following items have been transferred to the Schlesinger Library manuscript collection:
- Records of the Metropolitan Women Law Teachers Association (MWLTA)
In March 1970, the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) established the Special Committee on Women in Legal Education in response to petitions by women law students. The Committee's mandate, as stated by president Jefferson B. Fordham (AALS), was "concern for equality of opportunity in legal education, including professional placement." On April 18, 1970, the Committee met in New York City and took action on the following five matters: amendment of the Articles of Association and Approved Association Policy; recruitment of women students; recruitment of women faculty; survey of women in legal education and the profession; and sponsorship of a roundtable on Women in Legal Education. In 1972, the Committee participated in the AALS symposium on the "Law School Curriculum and the Legal Rights of Women," and Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Shirley R. Bysiewiez spearheaded the survey on "Participation by Women in Legal Education," a questionnaire used to determine the progress and problems facing recruitment of women in law schools. Ginsburg and Bysiewiez were also co-chairs of the Committee until 1973, when it became the Section on Women in Legal Education (SWLE).At the AALS annual meeting in 1973, the SWLE commenced with Shirley R. Bysiewiez and Mary Moers Wenig as co-presiders. During that same year, the Section initiated the publication of its newsletter, and its roster committee continued the data collection and recruitment of women law students and faculty. The by-laws, drafted by Elizabeth Defeis, were adopted in 1974. Membership consisted of all women currently in law teaching or administration, all who were listed in the AALS directory as teachers of Women and the Law courses, and all others who advised AALS of their desire to join the Section. Also in 1974, the Section co-sponsored its first program on "Equal Employment Litigation and Clinical Legal Education" with the AALS Section on Minority Groups. In 2010, the Section continued to actively address issues facing women law students and faculty, including compiling financial aid resources, collecting and disseminating data and statistics on women in legal education, addressing child care concerns and part-time employment, establishing networking groups, drafting major resolutions and reports on the treatment of women in the legal profession, sponsoring workshops at AALS annual meetings on issues concerning women in the law, etc.
The collection is arranged in three series:
- Series I. History, organization, and related, 1970-1987 (#1.1-1.20)
- Series II. Correspondence, 1973-1988 (scattered) (#2.1-3.12)
- Series III. Programs and projects, 1976-1999 (#3.13-5.12, T-199.1-T-199.33)
The records of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS), Section on Women in Legal Education (SWLE) contain histories, by-laws, correspondence, reports and resolutions, program planning material, membership lists, questionnaires and statistics, newsletters, audiotapes, clippings, and reference material on women in legal education and the law profession. Newsletters of the SWLE were transferred to the periodicals collection; consult the library's catalog for holdings. The records of the Association of American Law Schools are maintained at the University of Illinois Archives, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.Series I, HISTORY, ORGANIZATION, AND RELATED, 1970-1987 (#1.1-1.20), contains histories and early records, by-laws, membership and mailing lists, bank statements and related material from 1986, planning packet for AALS annual meetings, and miscellaneous resources on women in legal education and the law profession (i.e., journal articles, published statistics, clippings, reference material, etc.). The 1970 booklet of proceedings from the AALS annual meeting includes a brief report on the start of the Special Committee on Women in Legal Education, forerunner to SWLE. The histories and early records (#1.2-1.6) are a compilation of material from founding member Mary Moers Wenig, and include a timeline of Section events, reports, programs, resolutions, memos, questionnaires, surveys, statistics, clippings, etc., from the 1970s through the mid-1980s.Series II, CORRESPONDENCE, 1973-1988 (scattered) (#2.1-3.12), contains administrative correspondence, including general SWLE business and attached lists of officers, reports and memos, programs and projects, conference and workshop plans, drafts of by-laws and resolutions, etc. Material from the 1970s focuses on rosters and directories of women lawyers, newsletter design and content, section by-laws, AALS conference planning, part-time employment and equal employment issues, clinical legal education, ERA boycott and resolutions, and compiling a bibliography on women in the law. Material from the 1980s focuses on child care issues, sex bias and sexual harassment policies in the workplace, pregnancy discrimination, the Women's History Research Center, conference and workshop planning, and collecting records for the archives. Following the general correspondence are newsletter correspondence containing letters, drafts, announcements, and related material; request letters from women inquiring about law school, the legal profession, and financial aid, as well as inquiries from school career centers seeking information on women lawyers; correspondence kept by Nancy Erickson while SWLE chair (material may overlap with administrative correspondence); correspondence regarding placing the records in the Schlesinger Library; and correspondence on creating a second women's section within AALS.Series III, PROGRAMS AND PROJECTS, 1976-1999 (#3.13-5.12, T-199.1-T-199.33), contains correspondence, notes, planning material, reference material, drafts, proposals, resolutions, reports, budgets, schedules, transcriptions, clippings, audiotapes, and related material on several programs, projects, and issues undertaken by SWLE. Arranged chronologically, the series includes material on the part-time employment program (investigating part-time teaching options); the women law teachers' workshop (also known as the women teachers' law clinic), which addressed special teaching concerns of women law professors (includes workshop proposal and budget); the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) boycott, enacted to prevent AALS from holding annual meetings in states that had not ratified ERA (includes proposals and resolutions); the financial aid resource list project (connecting women law students with financial aid sources); the TIAA/CREF insurance issue, or Manhart case, which addressed sex-based bias in benefits for law professors (includes preliminary report, Colby College suit, and resolutions); a bibliography project on women in the law (the bibliography was never published); the childcare project (includes first-hand accounts of women law teachers dealing with work and family); the employment center project (helping women law graduates find jobs); the women deans' panel held at the 1984 AALS annual meeting (includes speakers' transcripts and material on Joan Wexler's denial of tenure, citing sexism); the women's networking groups (includes the 1985 feminist legal scholarship questionnaires used to compile contact lists); 1986 AALS annual meeting planning material focused on the SWLE panel presentation of sex-bias in criminal law (includes program proposals and budget, final report on sex-bias in criminal law, and audiotapes of the session; and the "Assimilation or Innovation" workshop, which addressed issues of integrating women into the field of law teaching (includes workshop schedule, speakers' presentations, and the 1980 American Bar Association's grant study on the "Integration of Women into Law Faculties").There are also thirty-three audiotapes of session programs sponsored or co-sponsored by SWLE at AALS annual meetings. Planning material related to corresponding sessions from 1986 is in #5.3-5.6; planning material for other sessions may be found throughout the collection. The AALS numbers (e.g., AALS 6001, AALS 7001, AALS 9801, etc.) on the audiotapes, appear to have been assigned by AALS to distinguish individual conferences; the tape numbers (e.g., Tape 1, Tape 15, etc.) represent the tape number assigned by AALS for each session that was recorded during a specific conference. The T-199 numbers (T-199.1, T-199.2, etc.) are call numbers assigned to each individual audiotape by the Schlesinger Library, and should be used when requesting these audiotapes.